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Daily Tips

When it comes to food allergies, there is a big learning curve.  To help with the details, we are posting a daily tip about the top food allergens, cross contamination and how to avoid it, crazy hidden places that food allergies hide, cooking and baking tips, and more.  There will be a new one every day!  Read them with your morning beverage, forward to family & friends who need them, and discuss.




Delayed Allergic Reactions

Not all allergic reactions occur right away. Whereas a classic reaction that can cause anaphylaxis can occur within minutes, it can also take several hours, and still need immediate treatment. A classic reaction can also cause death.

There are also other immune responses that can take up to 72 hours to manifest. This is called a delayed reaction and the symptoms can range from mild to severe, and can include a runny nose, flu like symptoms, heart palpitations, swollen joints & vertebrae, skin rashes, achy muscles, stomach and intestinal distress and more -- up to 100 different symptoms. This, plus rather unreliable tests, make this reaction very difficult to diagnose via testing. Keep a food journal and note each symptom after you eat a particular food. Remove the food that is causing your symptoms and work with a physician who understands all types of allergic reactons.

An allergic reaction to food is hard on the body. It can take you several days to recover from it, regardless of the type.

Read more about the different type of immune reactions to food, including Classic & Delayed Immune Reactions, Hybird Sensitivity, and Celiac Disease: What is a Food Allergy?

The article also helps us understand the different types of NON-immune reactions, as well.

Know what you have so you can take precautions, treat yourself and your loved ones with love, and react properly.


FDA Sets Gluten-free Regulations after 9 Years!

The Basics of the Regulations

After nine long years, the label "gluten-free" will actually mean something. Gluten-free regulations, meaning the rules for using  labels claiming that a product is gluten-free, have been approved, and will go into effect on August 1, 2014, one year from approval. 

This means that products with "gluten-free", as well as "free of gluten", "made without gluten", and "no gluten", need to be tested for gluten and that these products must fall below the 20ppm gluten-free minimum standard specified in the regulations. Although several manufacturers already comply with the regulations, manufacturers have one year to comply with them.

Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at Massachusetts General Hospital, said the FDA took an “excruciating” amount of time to finalize its gluten-free definition in part because it had to consider a massive amount of research on celiac disease as well as varying opinions from activists who wanted even more stringent standards and industry officials who argued for more lenient requirements. In the end, he said, the agency struck the right balance.

From The Washington Post, "Nine years after Congress’s request, FDA defines ‘gluten-free’"

Other products, such as eggs, fruits, vegetables, and bottled water can also be labeled "gluten-free", as long as they inherently contain no gluten. The gluten-free community will still have to exercise judgement as manufacturers begin to comply with the regulations, and will still need to be diligent about other products that are not labeled, but could be cross contaminated with gluten.

This is a big win for the gluten/wheat-allergic, and the celiac community. It will cause less stress when shopping for food. We need to send a big thank you to Jules Shepherd of Jules Gluten-Free Flour,, and the vendors who participated in bringing awareness to this important cause.

Read More from Other Sources:

From The Washington Post, "Nine years after Congress’s request, FDA defines ‘gluten-free’"

From Jules Shepherd's Blog, "Blood, Sweat, Tears, and 700 pounds of Frosting Later, Gluten-Free Food Regulations are Here!"

From, "The FDA Gets Serious About Gluten-Free Labeling Law"

From, "Gluten-Free Labeling of Foods"


Auto-Injector Law Passed! Talk to Your Child's School About Emergency Action

Law Passed - Emergency Epinephrine Auto-Injectors Allowed in Schools

Yesterday, the U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation that allows schools to have un-designated emergency epinephrine auto-injectors in schools.  This means that the auto injectors at school do not need to be prescribed to a specific student, and that they can be used by trained administrators for any staff member or student who is in an anaphylactic emergency.

This is great news for parents with children who are at risk at school, and follows in the wake of deaths in different states around the country, because an auto injector was not available, or not available in time. It also allows states to begin potentially requiring schools to carry the injectors.

An Artilce from CBS:

Create Your Child's Action Plan

It is a great idea to begin discussions with your school now, as school years commence, about your child's emergency action plan, if they need one.

Here is a great article to help you get started:  How Can Parents Feel Less Stress with an Allergic Child in School?


Press Release


From the FARE website:


U.S. House of Representatives Passes School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act

Legislation Could Save Lives in Schools Nationwide



McLean, Va. (July 30, 2013) - The U.S. House of Representatives voted Tuesday to approve the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act (H.R. 2094), important legislation championed by Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE) that will help protect students with food allergies.

The bill, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-TN) and House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD), encourages states to adopt laws requiring schools to have on hand “stock” epinephrine auto-injectors, which is epinephrine that is not prescribed to a specific student but can be used for any student or staff member in an anaphylactic emergency. Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction that is rapid in onset and can be fatal.

“We applaud the House for recognizing the need for schools to be prepared to protect students with life-threatening food allergies by passing this legislation, and we thank Dr. Roe and Rep. Hoyer for their unequivocal support,” said John L. Lehr, chief executive officer of FARE. “This is a tremendous victory, but we still have work to do to enact this legislation. We look forward to working with our champions in the Senate, Sen. Richard Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-IL), so that this legislation can be approved and sent to the President for signature.”

About half of states have laws or guidelines in place allowing schools to stock undesignated epinephrine auto-injectors. The proposed federal legislation would provide an incentive for states to require schools to stock epinephrine.

In addition to FARE, the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, the American Academy of Emergency Medicine and the National Association of Elementary School Principals have endorsed the School Access to Emergency Epinephrine Act.

Learn more at FARE (



Watch for gluten in tomato sauces & pastes

Today, July 29, 2013, is National Lasagna Day for those of us in the U.S. For those of us who have food allergies, it also means reading labels (again), carefully (again), if you are using pre-packaged products. The best way to avoid possible cross contamination of allergens is to make your sauce completley from scratch, of course, but popping open a jar of sauce can be a life saver during a busy day when you are craving some time and comfort, along with your lycopene and vitamin C.

Most recipes also call for tomato paste - which can contain gluten.

You wouldn't think to look for gluten in marinara sauce, tomato paste, or ketchup, for that matter, but gluten is often used as a filler in these types of sauces. Contadina, for instance, has gluten in the ingredients of their tomato paste. You also need to watch out for:

  • Malt flavoring (often derived from Barley)
  • Caramel Coloring (can be derived from gluten grains)
  • Natural Flavoring (can contain aspertame or MSG in different forms)


Here are a few brands that as of today, don't contain gluten (but always double check any labels, b/c ingredients & processing can change):

Eden Organics Sauces & Pastes.  I love the tomato products from Eden Organics, because they are not only gluten-free, but organic, in BPA-free cans or glass jars, and are really good. These are my favorite products to buy. They are not marked "free" of any other allergens, but I have a call in to the company to find out more and will add to this post with this information this week.

Organicville Marinara (gluten-free)

Amy's Marinara Sauce (it is also free of dairy, tree nut, soy, and corn; and is Kosher)


What are your favorites?





Herbs Mosquitoes Hate (but You Love)

Lemon VerbenaIf mosquitoes love you, plant rosemary, thyme (lemon), marigolds, lavender, lemon verbena (my favorite!), lemongrass, lemon balm, catnip, and garlic around your patio or garden. Mosquitoes don't like those. Plus you have a beautiful border, mosquito repellent, & kitchen garden all in one.

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